The Synod has collectively confirmed that our main game remains unchanged – to make disciples.
The Archbishop’s document Purpose and Priorities for the Diocesan Fellowship was passed by the Synod on Tuesday, September 12, recognising the direction and focus for churches, schools and organisations within the Diocese.
In the motion put forward by Archdeacon Simon Flinders and seconded by Bishop Michael Stead, they called all in the Sydney Diocese to commit to prayerfully working together to pursue these priorities, carefully noting that this was not intended to be a mission statement for the Diocese.
“It is, at its heart, the Archbishop’s document… to give expression to the kind of leadership he intends to offer the Diocese,” Mr Flinders said.
Drawn from God’s word, the purpose and priorities include proclaiming and commending Christ, establishing people in church life, equipping people for compassionate service in the world, sending some to serve beyond our Diocese, and prayerfully seeking God’s work in all things.
This also includes the call to multiply Christian churches and leaders. “To these ends,” the document states, “we long to see our fellowship marked by healthy communication, collaboration and co-ordination.”
Key priority areas
The Archbishop outlined nine key priorities for the Diocese over the coming years – the top three being word ministry, prayer and mobilising and motivating the making of disciples.
The rest of the Archbishop’s priorities have no particular order and in summary are to:
- Encourage deeper collaboration between churches, schools and organisations
- Strengthen and support rectors in order to see healthy and flourishing churches
- Recruit and train new ministry leaders
- Grow and strengthen children’s and youth ministries
- Strengthen communications, media and engagement
- Plant churches
Organisations and schools set to collaborate
After the initial purpose and priorities document passed, another motion was rubber stamped that outlined ways schools and organisations could collaborate with churches and the Synod.
“The heart of this motion is that diocesan organisations and schools should, in addition to the core purpose of their work, wherever possible seek to further the broader purposes of the Diocese,” said Simon Miller, CEO of Anglicare Sydney and mover of the motion.
“These are things the Archbishop believes are of particular importance right now. This does not mean they are the only things of importance to an organisation… We have particular roles to play as we seek God’s work amongst us to multiply Christians, multiply churches and multiply leaders.”
The motion was seconded by Mr Peter Fowler, CEO of The Anglican Schools Corporation.